Ukraine decries ‘symbolic blow’ as Russia assumes UN presidency | Russia-Ukraine war News

Ukraine considers Russia’s presidency of the United Nations Security Council in April a “symbolic blow”, joining a wave of anger from Western countries.

Moscow assumes the presidency as part of a monthly rotation between the 15 member states of the Security Council, with relations with the West at their lowest point since the Cold War due to the invasion. Russia’s Ukraine.

Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, said Russia’s tenure was a “symbolic blow”.

“It’s not just a shame. It’s another symbolic blow to the rules-based system of international relations,” he wrote on Twitter.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called Russia’s assumption of the presidency “a slap in the face of the international community”.

“I urge the current members of the UNSC to stop any attempt by Russia to abuse their presidency,” he wrote on Twitter on Saturday, calling Russia an “outlaw to the United States.” UNSC”.

Moscow last chaired the council in February 2022, the same month it invaded Ukraine — prompting Kyiv to call for Russia’s removal from the council.

Russia will have little influence over decisions but will be in charge of the agenda.

Moscow said Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was planning to chair a United Nations Security Council meeting this month on “effective multilateralism”.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also said that Lavrov would lead the debate on the Middle East on April 25.

The Kremlin on Friday said it plans to “exercise all its rights” in the role.

international criticism

Washington also criticized Russia’s Security Council membership and permanent membership.

The White House called on Russia to “behave professionally” in taking on this role, and said nothing could prevent Moscow from taking the position.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said: “A country that flagrantly violates the Charter of the United Nations and invades its neighbor has no place on the UN Security Council.”

“Unfortunately, Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and no viable international legal path exists to change that fact,” she added, calling the presidency “a the position is mainly ceremonial”.

The Baltic states also expressed concern.

Estonia’s UN envoy Rein Tammsaar, also speaking on behalf of Latvia and Lithuania, warned the Security Council on Friday as they met to discuss Russia’s plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons. in neighboring Belarus.

“Isn’t it said that tomorrow, on the anniversary of the murder of Bucha, Russia will assume the presidency of the United Nations Security Council?

“This is shameful, humiliating and dangerous to the credibility and effective functioning of this agency,” he said.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis mockedly congratulated Russia on assuming the presidency.

“Looking forward to some lively discussions on Ukraine’s proposal for the destination of your warships,” he wrote on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the strategic communications department of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry tweeted that “Russia, waging a brutal war against Ukraine, can only lead the #InsecurityCouncil”.

In an interview with AFP news agency on Thursday, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said she expected Russia to behave “professionally” during the presidency, but expressed doubts.

“We also hope that they will also look for opportunities to advance the disinformation campaign against Ukraine, the United States and all of our allies,” she said.

“When given the opportunity, we will raise concerns about Russia’s actions,” she added, reiterating Washington’s condemnation of Moscow’s “war crimes and human rights abuses” in Ukraine.

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